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alex photo Practice Your Service Return With This Arduino Powered Automatic Ping Pong Ball MachineSan Mateo resident Alexander Sorokin is Director of Data Science at crowdsourcing service provider CrowdFlower, and has a doctorate in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was born in Russia and took an undergraduate degree from Moscow University before moving to the US in 2004. His hobbies include chess and table tennis, and he’s developed a couple interesting Arduino-based gadgets to help him hone his skills.

MF14BA_Badge-01Shown here, an automatic ping-pong ball machine prototype Sorokin built using an Arduino microcontroller and a number of VEX Robotics Design System components. The robot features a ball bin, hopper, and dual friction-wheel design not unlike commercial serving machines for tennis and squash. Sorokin has also developed a special chess timer for the popular four-handed, two-board Bughouse variant.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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